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Helen Mirren to Play Queen Elizabeth Onstage

UPDATED: The actress will star in Peter Morgan's "The Audience," having previously won an Academy Award for her role in the 2006 film "The Queen."
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Dame Helen Mirren will once again tackle the role of Queen Elizabeth -- this time, on stage.

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The Oscar-winning actress is set to star in Peter Morgan's The Audience, recalling six decades of weekly "audiences" (meetings) at Buckingham Palace between the Queen and her 12 prime ministers over the years. The Audience is slated to open in 2013 at London's Gielgud Theatre, according to a statement obtained by Reuters.

Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) will direct the play, with Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox and Andy Harries producing. Scenic designer will be six-time Tony winner Bob Crowley (Once).

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The 67-year-old actress portrayed the British monarch in the 2006 feature The Queen, for which Morgan received an Oscar nomination for his original screenplay. The role earned Mirren an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award and a British BAFTA for her performance. Mirren, additionally, starred in HBO's Elizabeth I, earning the actress an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG award.

Mirren's stage career stretches back to the mid-1960s, with notable work over the years for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and the Royal Court. Her last major stage appearance was in the title role of Racine's Phèdre at the National for director Nicholas Hytner, which was the inaugural production in the company's NT Live international screening series. 

Morgan's credits for film, television and the stage include Frost/Nixon, The Queen, The Last King of Scotland, The Deal, HBO's The Special Relationship and Longford. He wrote the screenplay for Ron Howard's forthcoming biopic of Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda, Rush, for which Universal has set a fall 2013 release date.

The Audience is scheduled to begin previews Feb. 15, 2013. Official opening is set for March 5, running through June 15.

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